The way in which the US population seek and receive care is so dynamic that it often becomes hard to keep track and also predict the future of healthcare system in America. Healthcare providers are taking on financial risk for patients, identifying ways to improve healthcare access and outcomes, and prioritizing consumer experience in order to cope with the changing patient needs. Despite several challenges coming their way, providers are increasingly looking at ways to adopt mobility into healthcare solutions.
What is healthcare mobility?
The rapid adoption of mobile devices and other advanced technology by healthcare providers to improve patient care is known as healthcare mobility. As a greater number of patients are increasingly looking for convenient ways to gain healthcare access, mobile devices are gradually becoming a significant part of healthcare IT infrastructure. The use of mobile devices in healthcare will not only reduce the time it takes to save a patient’s life by retrieving data and communicating with team members faster, but it will also give clinicians the tools they require at their fingertips whether they are operating in a primary care, ICU, or emergency unit. Some of the key benefits that mobility can provide in the future of healthcare include:
- Demand for trauma care will fall as partially and fully autonomous vehicles become mainstream.
- Increased access to healthcare as providers can develop better mobility networks. As a result, patients will get new options to reach existing providers.
- More efficient supply networks with fundamental changes in the medical supply chain, thereby enabling nimble transportation networks and disrupting existing models.
This blog from Infiniti Research explores how the various changes that will unfold in the future of healthcare will benefit providers and highlights how providers and other stakeholders in the healthcare industry can position themselves in an ecosystem that is underpinned by autonomous and shared mobility.
The role of mobility in enhancing the future of healthcare
Reduced demand for trauma care
According to reports, in 2012 alone, the number of patients in the US visiting the emergency room due to motor vehicle accidents were over 2 million. This has resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of lifetime medical costs. As roadways in the US are being increasingly filled with autonomous vehicles, accident rates and the associated financial, social, and health burdens are expected to fall. With fewer road accidents, demand for trauma care will likely decline. In the United States, this will likely amplify the future of healthcare to shift focus on advancing overall population health and preventative care.
Improved access to care
One of the persistent challenges for health systems is patient-no show. With the rising number of missed appointment rates in many large clinics, there is a consequent financial burden and lost efficiency for providers. Access to transportation is often a critical barrier to receiving care, especially for chronic conditions that require regular appointments. With mobility, healthcare systems or emergent players could create mobile care units that optimize health professional rounds, dispatching physicians, and nurses to remote care sites or patient homes. Furthermore, the concept of driverless vehicle enables the usage of other emergent technologies such as additive manufacturing, augmented reality, and virtual reality to create highly capable autonomous mobile care units that can carry out tasks that once took place in hospitals, such as 3D printing a custom cast for a broken bone on the spot, running tests on vitals, or holding consultations with specialists.
Optimize clinical supply chain and procurement
Mobility transformation will play a significant role in making the future of healthcare better for not only the patients but also the providers. Medical supply chains can be dangerously fragile. With increased access to cheaper, faster, and more flexible distribution channels, healthcare systems would be able to deliver clinical supplies more efficiently and at a lower cost across their provider network. Distribution networks powered by advanced technology could promise a better future of healthcare with increased speed and predictability with which goods move from suppliers to patients or providers. Companies throughout the medical supply chain should think about how mobility in the future of healthcare could impact their business models, including the potential unintended consequences.